[Review] Nature's Guru - Indian-style chai powder mix
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Sometime in 2021, I discovered Nature’s Guru while wandering the extensive tea aisle at a local international supermarket. The Unsweetened Cardamom Chai immediately became my favorite for crisp fall mornings. Up to that point, my only experience with instant chai powder was with Trader Joe’s (which also happened to be the fan favorite in a blind taste test for the best chai).
My interest was particularly piqued by Nature’s Guru’s products’ incredibly simple, natural ingredient lists, tasty range of flavors, and unsweetened options. Unfortunately, soon after this tea discovery, the supermarket stopped carrying the brand, but fortunately for me—and all of you—Nature’s Guru is available directly online!
I connected with the company’s founder and received a lineup of a few more of their flavors. Here is my review of three of Nature’s Guru’s unsweetened chai tea powder mixes!
Masala Spice Chai Unsweetened ($6.99)
Cardamom Chai Unsweetened ($6.99)
Ginger Chai Unsweetened ($6.99)
About Nature’s Guru
Nature's Guru’s founder, Sagar Shah, launched the US-based company in 2010 to appeal to an American audience.
Sagar shares that it started during a trip to India, when he visited various tea estates and quickly realized that “there was a lack of sustainability and innovation at the time.” Thereafter, he worked with tea pickers and estate owners to create a unique product line of "instant chai." It was also critical to him to find supply-chain partners that empowered women and provided fair wages. All together, these products aimed to have an American appeal in terms of branding, packaging, taste, and nutritional all-natural ingredients.
When it comes to “the perfect cup of chai”, Sagar states that there’s no such thing. That’s because a blend of milk, black tea, spices, and sugar can taste different from one city to another. During visits to India, he has a slightly different cup wherever he visits, be it a friend's house, or family's home, factory, or corporate offices! If forced to pick a favorite, he would choose an exotic Pink Chai found in the Kashmiri valley of India.
What to love about Nature’s Guru:
Sweetened and unsweetened options - There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Nature’s Guru has both sweetened and unsweetened options of its instant chai so you can prepare it exactly to your taste.
Indian-style chai - Stays true to more “authentic” Indian chai with Indian spices, such as the Masala Chai or Cardamom Chai.
Simple ingredient lists - Straightforward ingredients with no additives and no preservatives. Other instant chai powders might use fillers like maltodextrin, as with Oregon Chai.
About Nature’s Guru’s teas
During the time that Nature’s Guru has been around, it’s certainly made a name for itself. And the proof comes in the most unexpected ways.
While watching the Netflix hit series Indian Matchmaking, I noticed an oddly familiar box and packaging taken out in Season 2, Episode 5. That’s right—Aparna’s mom was whipping up a warm cup of Nature’s Guru’s Cardamom Chai.
If that’s not a good dose of social proof, then the jury’s out!
In addition to the popular instant chai mixes, Nature’s Guru also has tea bags, loose leaf, coffee, and another instant powder of an Indian favorite—golden milk.
I wanted to dive a bit deeper into what makes Nature’s Guru’s chai products special, so I asked founder Sagar a few more questions:
What do you think makes Indian chai different from American chai? The milk. Cows are considered sacred in the Hindu religion and all-over pan India. The taste of their milk is substantially different than what we can find out here.
Which one of your products is your personal favorite? Lemongrass Chai because of its high iron content. Also, I feel as if it has the most aroma of all the flavors and those notes really help uplift your mornings.
Finally, are there any new products you have planned? Yes, we have recently launched a vegan version of our three most popular flavors: masala, cardamom, and ginger chai. For those with dietary restrictions, you can add your choice of vegan milk and still enjoy a gourmet taste of Nature's Guru Chai.
Now, let’s review these three Nature’s Guru chai flavors a bit more closely.
Nature’s Guru Masala Spice Chai review
Masala spice blend is the cornerstone of Indian chai, so this flavor is the closest to a traditional chai out of the product lineup. The spices on the ingredient list include ginger, black pepper, green cardamom, black cardamom, clove, mace, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I can make out the scent of black pepper and clove from the packet alone.
It’s not too milky, so the spices still take the cake on this one. Strangely, even though I typically don’t like my tea sweetened, I think the Masala Spice Chai might taste even better with more dimension as the sweetened version.
Nature’s Guru Cardamom Chai review
The Cardamom Chai is my first- and lasting love from Nature’s Guru. I feel like most chai mixes focus on the nuttier, spicier spices like ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon. So, finding one where cardamom is dominant isn’t so common. And because cardamom is already found in powder form, it lends itself well to a powder chai mix.
Something about the cardamom also harmonizes well with milk powder to give an even creamier feeling.
Nature’s Guru Ginger Chai review
Personally, the Ginger Chai was my least favorite of the three. I’m used to ginger flavors in tea having a bit more zing and freshness, but with powder that’s a bit tougher to replicate since ginger is a fresh root. It also doesn’t have other spices (just ginger!) so it tastes a bit more removed from the typical “Americanized” chai blend.
One aspect I would love to see more of with Nature’s Guru is a bit more transparency with the sourcing and ingredients. Apart from a straight-forward ingredient list and claims of no preservatives or additives, there isn’t much else on the packaging or website about the supply chain or how the product is made.
As a product that isn’t easy to find offline, it also leaves a lot of questions for first-time tasters of which flavor they might like. I’d love to see this brand carry a sampler pack with all of its instant chai flavors. Until then, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Cardamom one!
Learn more about Nature’s Guru on their website: naturesguru.com
Instant Chai flavors provided by Nature’s Guru for review.
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